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Realistic Simulation and Control of Human Swimming and Underwater Movement


We present a multiphysics framework for the realistic animation of human swimming that features a comprehensive biomechanical model of the human body immersed in simulated fuid. Our human model includes all of the relevant articular bones and muscles, including 103 bones (comprising 163 articular degrees of freedom) plus a total of 823 muscle actuators embedded in a finite element model of the the soft tissues of the body that produces realistic deformations. A main focus of this thesis is the control of this complex biomechanical model. To coordinate the numerous muscle actuators in order to produce natural swimming movements, we develop a biomimetically motivated motor control system based on Central Pattern Generators (CPG), which learns to produce activation signals that drive the Hill-type muscle actuators. In addition, we introduce an optimization based control method that enables our human model to achieve non-locomotion, task-oriented movements, such as changing the orientation of the body in the water.

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